Latitude 22N

The showroom and studio of Latitude 22N is housed in a 1970’s warehouse in Chai Wan. Here Hong Kong born and bred Julie Progin and her American born husband Jesse McLin work and showcase their varied collections. This clever duo not only create and design but also work with artisans in Jingdezhen province in China, the home of porcelain, to produce a modern yet quirky take on ceramics. You will find it hard to leave Latitude 22N without something. Their suspension lights come in a multitude of colours; their ‘Ding’ light, in white or black, is a delicate yet striking modern take on the hanging light. Their basic porcelain bowls, plates and cups are produced in beautiful hues, and their collections, The Night Market, Song and Waves are unique and refreshing. Everything is done with precision and thought. It makes me think that ceramics/porcelain is definitely coming back in a big way.  After graduating with a Bachelor in Fine Arts at Kansas City Art Institute and then a Masters degree at The Alfred State School of Ceramics Arts Jesse McLin went to New York and taught at Parsons School of Design where he met Julie Progin. Jesse works with many different materials: metal, paper, ceramics, glass, and the incredible wooden tree installations could be used as a room divider or just to just simply have in a space gives a sense of calm. Jesse’s childhood growing up exploring the redwoods of Northern California perhaps gave him an eye to hand carve these beautiful wooden sculptures. Julie studied textiles at Duperré in Paris and ended up exploring product design at Parsons in New York, but her Hong Kong roots brought them back to launch their own design studio. 

What made you start Latitude 22N?

Our wedding was the starting point. We wanted to share our appetite for ceramics and design with our loved ones. Next thing you know, we pulled up our sleeves and set out to create our wedding decor out of ceramic from lights to candle holders down to dinner plates. This is when our Song dinnerware collection came to be. We were inspired by the delicate, simple and nature influenced patterns of the Song era that were made in Jingdezhen, porcelain capital city of China, that we had seen at the Metropolitan in New York where we lived at the time. The designs we came up with had such good responses that we decided we had to find a way to make more pieces and what better place to make them then to go back where the source of our inspiration came from. So we packed our bags and headed off to explore the know hows of Jingdezhen’s craftsmen, dropping off suitcases in Hong Kong along the way. What we found there was breathtaking. Amazing white porcelain and skills that we had not encountered before. Naturally we started exchanging ideas with the artisans there and drew up more and more collections back in our studio in Hong Kong. The name Latitude 22N was then decided – 22N for the terrestrial coordinates of the city of Hong Kong. Latitude as a reflection of our diverse skills, backgrounds and that of all the people involved in the making of our collections. 

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Pomegranate Gems

When Asma Chishty decided to leave the world of finance, where she worked as a corporate banker in the highly specialised field of ‘diamond financing’, it was little wonder she started designing her own boutique jewellery line – pomegranate gems. There was a great creative influence from her parents: her artist mother opened her eyes to form and proportion while her diplomat father instilled a love of travel and culture. Now based in Hong Kong and in just over one year Asma has designed a beautiful range of unique jewellery. After collaborating with artisans across Asia and Europe, the result is three collections with three different looks. Her Signature line is inspired by Asma’s birthplace Lahore; bold and striking sapphires, rubies and emeralds nestle in modern designs; Geneva – exquisite day-to-night pieces in 18 carat white, rose gold and diamonds – is an ode to Asma’s hometown, and Atelier – the bridal collection – is more classical and refined with bespoke designs. Asma’s jewellery definitely has that want-to-slip-that-on-and-wear-it-now allure but it’s also timeless so it will take you through all the seasons.

Some of the things you might do in a day?

I’m an early riser, as soon as the kids leave for school, I meet a group of friends at Starbucks for coffee and our daily walk around the Peak which I follow up with a session of yoga three times a week. I like being at my desk by 9:30 am to catch up on admin things and work in peace on my design work. The afternoon is often spent in meetings or at my Atelier in Hung Hom. 

Describe your style?

Clean, polished yet bold

Can you name three of your best traits?

Reliable, affectionate, creative

Who or what inspires you?

My mother who is an incredibly talented watercolorist and my husband, who is incredibly driven and all my girlfriends who are the fabric of my life. 

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Hatton Studios

Wanting to learn the craft of jewellery making? Head down to Hatton Studios. Jeweller Nathalie Melville, a graduate from Central Saint Martins, London, helps clients to create handmade pieces – she has worked for Tiffany, Follie Follie and Shanghai Tang, and has worked extensively on bespoke pieces for private clients, too. Her knowledge of precious metals and gems and attention to detail is amazing. Tables and tools are available to rent for those who spend more time and fall in love with honing their technique of the art form. The courses start at beginner’s level and also include private tuition. Some students have carried on further and gone on to develop their own collections. 




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Tai Tai Pie Pies

Nothing says love like a home-made pie but not all of us have the luxury of time to bake for our friends and family. Luckily Tai Tai Pies Pies has come to the rescue and made pies so delicious everyone will think it’s fresh from your oven. Chef and pie specialist RJ Asher has put his heart and soul into this artisanal pie baking business. Everything, right down to the pastry, crumble, and fillings – all imported meats, proves that RJ lives and breathes his specialist business. Fresh and wholesome – their apple pie is a definite favourite. 

When it came to planning the styling for the photographs we took our inspiration from the natural flavours and spices RJ uses in his culinary creations. I used turmeric and tea together, which turned the linen napkins to a beautiful soft yellow hue. For all my spices (a whole other story we will get onto another time) I always go to this tiny little shop in Wan Chai. 


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We recently worked on a shoot for the children’s label Velveteen. While we set the scenes, Asia from Hollywood Hair created whimsical up-dos for our models. Founder and designer Laura Egloff is doing a very good job designing clothes with true artisan detailing from intricate beading to original block printing all sourced from India. Her designs are unique and so easy to wear for children that you wish she would put together an adult range. Velveteen is heading to New York for Playtime the international trade show for children’s collections in early August so we decided to chat to the talented designer before the big show. Read More…

Lilliput Tales

We love Lilliput Tales and their kooky, quite captivating mini-lives-in-glass-jars or ‘mossariums’. Singapore-born creative director Maggie Chan started the idea as a little artistic experiment outside of her full-time job. The experiment turned out to have lots of possibilities. And we’re glad it did – from a tiny ‘Summer Hike” to a spirited ultra athletic mini coming down a rope – ‘Hang in There’ – they all tell a story and each piece is a one-off. Just choose one and add love, sun and water. or contact Maggie at They are also available at kapok stores in Hong Kong. Read More…

La Petite Caravane

We love to find out what other people are doing with their days. French born children’s wear designer Thuy-Tien Crampton is the face behind her successful children’s wear label La Petite Caravane,, which makes superlative use of vintage and unusual fabrics. The clothes are beautifully crafted and Thuy-Tien keeps each collection small in other words, go to La Petite Caravane for an individual look. Here is our interview. Read More…

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